Water supply and aqueducts

Aug 2013
155
Finland
#61
Except for the fact that:
- the Sahara and Mesopotamia were still green (Tropical) during the Early Dynastic Period. Green and watery enough to have North African elephant - Wikipedia and Syrian elephant - Wikipedia
- Mesoamerica (many cultures) was way bigger than Ancient Egypt. Do you see Central-America has beeing a cramped place? And they were not blocked in the North or the South as far as I know.
- Regarding the Indus valley: "it was one of three early civilisations of the region comprising North Africa, West Asia and South Asia, and of the three, the most widespread, its sites spanning an area stretching from northeast Afghanistan, through much of Pakistan, and into western and northwestern India." (Indus Valley Civilisation - Wikipedia) Again, not that cramped, and the desert was less arid then as well.
- Inca civilisation may have been cramped, but that configuration gave them access to a wide range of fauna, flora and materials. Maybe there it helped.
My impression from various sources (mostly documentaries, granted, but also this same Bulliet series of lectures) is that Egypt grew out of when people started moving into the Nile valley due to the Sahara, where they had lived previously, becoming more arid and unfriendly to live in.

Central America is comparatively cramped vs. the north and a lot of the south is it not?

I think if we want to find holes in Mr. Bulliet's theory, the Indus valley then and also China are much more interesting locations.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,576
Benin City, Nigeria
#62
and there is a belt of relative flat lands between the Sahara and central African jungles where it's quite possible to migrate in both directions?
Sure, although this ability to move west to east or east to west in between northern and southern boundaries doesn't seem that different from the ability to move north and south in most of the other regions that you mentioned, with regard to whether people can migrate into or out of a region. So how is it really different? Groups of people migrated south into Mesoamerica, and some people obviously migrated south, beyond Mesoamerica as well, for example. But some people also "back-migrated" back into Mesoamerica from South America. So north and south movement into and out of Mesoamerica was going on despite western and eastern boundaries/borders. So what's the difference and how is it an example of a place that people can't move away from when things become crowded in the region?
 
Aug 2013
155
Finland
#63
Sure, although this ability to move west to east or east to west in between northern and southern boundaries doesn't seem that different from the ability to move north and south in most of the other regions that you mentioned, with regard to whether people can migrate into or out of a region. So how is it really different? Groups of people migrated south into Mesoamerica, and some people obviously migrated south, beyond Mesoamerica as well, for example. But some people also "back-migrated" back into Mesoamerica from South America. So north and south movement into and out of Mesoamerica was going on despite western and eastern boundaries/borders. So what's the difference and how is it an example of a place that people can't move away from when things become crowded in the region?
I looked up the part and timestamp at which he talks about this point and especially compares Mesoamerica with Africa:

His argument for Mesoamerica is that the area is very mountainous and there is in fact very limited plains areas around.
Watching the whole lecture will give more background to his reasoning, this timestamp just has the specific examples he uses for his theory (actually he calls it a hypothesis, which is correct if he hasn't actually published any research papers on it)
 
Aug 2013
155
Finland
#64
why is europe not divided into Mediterranean and western european, north european for instance.
Well it kind of is actually, at least from a historical perspective? But more into Mediterranean (later south), northern and eastern Europe.

What we today call south Europe has much more in common with North Africa, Anatolia and the Levant in the ancient world than it had with the tribal north and eastern part of Europe. Then with the spread of Christianity we get the west/east split into Catholic and Orthodox and finally with the Reformation we get a further split in the north of Europe.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but while sub-Saharan Africa was behind the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia in birthing civilizations, it was still well ahead of northern and eastern Europe in this regard. I mean written Finnish didn't even properly exist until the 16th century, with only some phonetically written down phrases existing before that.

If anything, I think we do sub-Saharan Africa a disservice by talking about it as a single region.
 
Mar 2019
16
Paris
#65
I think if we want to find holes in Mr. Bulliet's theory, the Indus valley then and also China are much more interesting locations.
His theory seems to apply perfectly to China.
Might have been for other reason, but when you look at the evolution of the different empires (File:Territories of Dynasties in China.gif - Wikimedia Commons),
Territories_of_Dynasties_in_China.gif
and the topology, with the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert, the coastal plain, (Gobi Desert - Wikipedia)
1024px-GobiTaklamakanMap.jpg
and the fact that China became a Maritime power.

I went to thetruesize.com to compare the coastal plain to the Yucatan peninsula (Mayans). Not that big a difference.
 
Likes: chefren

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